KnifeArt had sent over a knife for review a few months ago, right around when my daughter was born. I’m just about ready to do the final work on the review, but there’s been a question nagging me for some time.
How do I go about talking about KnifeArt?
I hadn’t ordered from them before, but my scouring of the internet turned up mostly good recommendations. There are some discouraging testimonials from a few years ago, but the pattern for the past few years seems to be a very good customer experience. (See Bladeforums Feedback Thread.)
Do I go about creating a secret shopper experience? Do I ask Ben to go on a secret shopper experience? Someone else? A reader?
My gut tells me that it’s safe to give you the thumbs-up about KnifeArt, but I want to be sure. That brings me to this post. Have you ordered from KnifeArt? What was the experience like?
Now, about KnifeArt…
According to their “about” page, they are about being a fine knife destination, and pride themselves on carrying the best of the best in the knife industry.
For a lot of their offerings, this means higher-end production and custom knives. But they also carry more affordable knives. Well, affordable is relative.
KnifeArt stocks everyday use knives, but not what I would consider beaters. Their product offerings are better described as heavy use knives that could also serve as pocket candy.
Spending more on a pocket knife means better materials and sometimes more exotic handle materials. There is a point of diminishing returns, but I can never tell where that is.
From what I’ve seen, I think $350 or so is the line after which you spend more on style, name, and craftsmanship, rather than the quality of materials.
$150 on a knife might be the line after which few users will need to spend more.
If you look through KnifeArt’s website, you’ll find a mix of heavy use knives with somewhat utilitarian designs, flashier knives with more personally-attachable designs, and pricier knives for enthusiasts with disposable income.
It was maybe a year ago that I decided to buy a Chris Reeve knife – a basic and bland design, but it still hurt my wallet. I wanted to see what their knives were about, and knew I could always resell it without much loss. What could a $375 knife do that a $25 knife cannot? A $75 knife? $150 knife? The answer’s still out on that one.
Look around on their site and you’ll find sub-$150 Benchmade and Zero Tolerance knives, made in the USA.
Why order from KnifeArt over another retailer? I’m hoping there will be some knife enthusiasts or collectors among our audience that could help answer that.
But I still think I’m going to order from KnifeArt myself prior to the review. It’s the only way to properly vet them.
That brings me to another question – is there any knife from the KnifeArt website that you’d be interested in seeing reviewed?
And don’t worry, in addition to the Benchmade they sent over, I bought a bunch of $25 to $60 knives to test out. I think that the $30 is a good starting point for one’s first “real” pocket knife, and there are some decent offerings in the ~$50 price range. I always make a face when I open up a gear, gadget, or other magazine and find reviews or previews on stupid-expensive products. I’m well aware that not everyone wants or needs a pocket knife, let alone one a pricey one.
(Shown above is a photo of the Zero Tolerance 0450 that I reviewed.)
P.S. The Kershaw Knockout, just under $50 after holiday $10 coupon, is probably my “budget pick” these days.